Zorro Rides Again

Last updated

Zorro Rides Again
Directed by William Witney
John English
Written by Franklin Adreon
Morgan Cox
Ronald Davidson
John Rathmell
Barry Shipman
Johnston McCulley (original Zorro novel)
Produced by Sol C. Siegel
Starring John Carroll
Helen Christian
Reed Howes
Duncan Renaldo
Noah Beery Sr.
Richard Alexander
Cinematography William Nobles
Edited by Helene Turner
Edward Todd
Music by Alberto Colombo
Walter Hirsch
Eddie Cherkose (aka Eddie Maxwell)
Lou Handman
Republic Pictures
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release date
  • November 20, 1937 (1937-11-20)
Running time
12 chapters (212 minutes) (serial) [1]
68 minutes (feature) [1]
6 26½-minute episodes (TV) [1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$98,110 (negative cost: $110,753) [1]
Zorro Rides Again, Chapter 1: Death from the Sky

Zorro Rides Again (1937) is a 12-chapter Republic Pictures film serial. It was the eighth of the sixty-six Republic serials, the third with a Western theme (a third of Republic's serials were westerns) and the last produced in 1937. The serial was directed by William Witney & John English in their first collaboration. The serial starred John Carroll who also sang the title song as a modern descendant of the original Zorro with Carroll stunt doubled by Yakima Canutt. The plot is a fairly standard western storyline about a villain attempting to illicitly take valuable land (in this case a new railroad). The setting is a hybrid of modern (1930s) and western elements that was used occasionally in B-Westerns (such as the western feature films also produced by Republic). It was also the first in a series of five Zorro serials: Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939), Zorro's Black Whip (1944), Son of Zorro (1947) and Ghost of Zorro (1949).



In contemporary California, villain J. A. Marsden aims to take over the California-Yucatan Railroad with the aid of his henchman El Lobo. The rightful owners, Joyce and Phillip Andrews, naturally object. Their partner, Don Manuel Vega summons his nephew, James Vega, to help them as he is the great grandson of the original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega. He is disappointed, however, to find that his nephew is a useless fop. Nevertheless, James Vega installs himself in the original Zorro's hideout and adopts the Zorro identity to defeat Marsden and El Lobo. This Zorro uses twin pistols and a whip as his main weapons of choice, rather than a more traditional sword.



Zorro Rides Again was budgeted at $98,110 although the final negative cost was $110,753 (a $12,643, or 12.9%, overspend). [1] It was filmed between 8 September and 5 October 1937. [1] The serial's production number was 423. [1] Zorro Rides Again was influenced by the Singing Cowboy trend of the time. Carroll's "best moments" in costume were singing (Lyrics include "Zorro rides again into the night...") [2]

It was shot in Cochilla, Mexico [3] and featured other locales such as Bronson Canyon, Iverson Movie Ranch, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Angeles National Forest, and Chatsworth, Los Angeles.


In the opinion of Cline, one of the most memorable stunt scenes in the history of film serials is shown in Zorro Rides Again. Stuntman Yakima Canutt plays Zorro as he gallops up to the cab of a moving truck and swings from the saddle to its running board. Even a small mistake during this sequence would have been lethal for Canutt. [4]



Zorro Rides Again's official release date is 20 November 1937, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges. [1] A 68-minute feature film version, created by editing the serial footage together, was released on 22 September 1938 and re-released on 16 January 1959. The feature film had a working title of Mysterious Don Miguel before returning to the original name Zorro Rides Again. This was one of fourteen feature films Republic made from their serials. [1]


In the early 1950s, Zorro Rides Again was one of fourteen Republic serials edited into a television series. It was broadcast in six 26½-minute episodes. [1]

Chapter titles

212 minutes = 3h, 32m

  1. Death from the Sky (29 min 41s)
  2. The Fatal Minute (18 min 01s)
  3. Juggernaut (15 min 55s)
  4. Unmasked (16 min 18s)
  5. Sky Pirates (16 min 51s)
  6. The Fatal Shot (16 min 30s)
  7. Burning Embers (15 min 29s)
  8. Plunge of Peril (17 min 08s)
  9. Tunnel of Terror (17 min 04s)
  10. Trapped (17 min 24s)
  11. Right of Way (15 min 45s)
  12. Retribution (15 min 54s)

Source: [1] [5]


  1. Death from the Sky: Zorro, Joyce and Philip, aboard a train, are bombed from the air by El Lobo.
  2. The Fatal Minute: Knocked unconscious in a warehouse, Zorro is caught in the detonation of a hidden bomb.
  3. Juggernaut: Zorro's foot is caught in the tracks of a railroad, helpless before an oncoming Express Train.
  4. Unmasked: Under cover of his heavies' guns, El Lobo reaches to remove Zorro's mask.
  5. Sky Pirates: Zorro's plane comes under fire as it taxies for takeoff.
  6. The Fatal Shot: Fighting Trelliger, Zorro falls to the courtyard. El Lobo pulls a gun on the prone vigilante.
  7. Burning Embers: Zorro is caught in a burning building when the floor gives way beneath him.
  8. Plunge of Peril: Attempting to escape on a funicular railway, Zorro plummets down a cliff.
  9. Tunnel of Terror: Zorro is trapped atop the carriage of a train as it enters a tunnel - which explodes.
  10. Trapped: In a rooftop chase, Zorro loses his balance and falls from the skyscraper.
  11. Right of Way: Zorro, in a truck, is set for a collision with El Lobo, in a train.

Related Research Articles

<i>Zorros Fighting Legion</i> 1939 film by John English, William Witney

Zorro's Fighting Legion is a 1939 Republic Pictures film serial consisting of twelve chapters starring Reed Hadley as Zorro and directed by William Witney and John English. The plot revolves around his alter-ego Don Diego's fight against the evil Don Del Oro.

<i>Zorros Black Whip</i> 1944 film by Spencer Gordon Bennet

Zorro's Black Whip is a 1944 12-chapter film serial by Republic Pictures starring Linda Stirling. The film was made after the 1940 20th Century-Fox remake of The Mark of Zorro in order to capitalize on it. Republic was not able to use the character of Zorro himself, however, and despite the title, the hero(ine) is called The Black Whip throughout.

<i>The Tiger Woman</i> (1944 film) 1944 film by Wallace Grissell, Spencer Gordon Bennet

The Tiger Woman (1944) is a 12-chapter film serial by Republic Pictures starring Allan Lane and Linda Stirling. The serial was re-released in 1951 under the title Perils of the Darkest Jungle and, in 1966, it was edited into the 100-minute Century-66 film Jungle Gold.

<i>Jungle Girl</i> (serial) 1941 film by John English, William Witney

Jungle Girl is a 1941 15-chapter Republic serial starring Frances Gifford. It was directed by William Witney and John English based on the novel Jungle Girl (1932) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was the 22nd of the 66 serials produced by Republic.

<i>Dick Tracys G-Men</i> 1939 film by John English, William Witney

Dick Tracy's G-Men (1939) is a 15-Chapter Republic movie serial based on the Dick Tracy comic strip by Chester Gould. It was directed by William Witney and John English.

<i>Darkest Africa</i> 1936 American film

Darkest Africa (1936) is a Republic movie serial. This was the first serial produced by Republic Pictures and was a loose sequel to a Mascot Pictures serial called The Lost Jungle, also starring Clyde Beatty. Mascot, and other companies, had been taken over in 1935 by Consolidated Film Laboratories and merged to become Republic. Producer Nat Levine was formerly the owner of Mascot Pictures.

<i>The Vigilantes Are Coming</i> 1936 American film

The Vigilantes Are Coming is a 1936 American Republic film serial directed by Ray Taylor and Mack V. Wright. It was the third of the sixty six serials made by Republic Pictures.

<i>The Painted Stallion</i> 1937 film by William Witney, Ray Taylor, Alan James

The Painted Stallion is a 1937 American Western film serial from Republic Pictures. It was the sixth Republic serial of the sixty-six made by that company. Western serials such as this made up a third of the serials from Republic, a studio that was also heavily involved in making B-Western feature films at the time.

<i>The Lone Ranger</i> (serial) Film series

The Lone Ranger is a 1938 American Republic Movie serial based on the radio program of the same name. It was the ninth of the sixty-six serials produced by Republic, the fourth Western and the first Republic serial release of 1938. The following year a sequel serial The Lone Ranger Rides Again was released. The fifteen chapters of the serial were condensed into the film Hi-Yo Silver, which was released in 1940.

<i>Dick Tracy Returns</i> 1938 American film

Dick Tracy Returns (1938) is a Republic Movie serial based on the Dick Tracy comic strip. It was the eleventh of the sixty-six serials Republic produced and a sequel to the 1937 serial Dick Tracy, with Ralph Byrd reprising his role as the title character. It was successful enough that two further sequels were released in 1939 and 1941, and Byrd become so connected with the character he went on to play him in a subsequent television series.

<i>The Lone Ranger Rides Again</i> 1939 film serial directed by William Witney and John English

The Lone Ranger Rides Again is a 1939 American Republic serial. It was a sequel to Republic's 1938 serial The Lone Ranger, which had been highly successful, and the thirteenth of the sixty-six serials produced by Republic.

<i>Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc.</i> 1941 film by John English, William Witney

Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc. (1941) is a Republic Movie serial based on the Dick Tracy comic strip. It was directed by the team of William Witney and John English with Ralph Byrd reprising his role from the earlier serials. It was the last of the four Dick Tracy serials produced by Republic, although Ralph Byrd went on to portray the character again in two features and on television.

<i>Secret Service in Darkest Africa</i> 1943 film by Spencer Gordon Bennet

Secret Service in Darkest Africa is a 1943 Republic serial. It was Republic's thirtieth serial, of the sixty-six produced by the studio.

<i>Haunted Harbor</i> 1944 film by Wallace Grissell, Spencer Gordon Bennet

Haunted Harbor (1944) is a Republic serial, based on the novel by Ewart Adamson.

<i>Son of Zorro</i> 1947 film

Son of Zorro is a 1947 American Western film serial from Republic Pictures. It was the 43rd of the 66 serials produced by that studio. The serial was directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet and Fred C. Brannon. George Turner starred as a descendant of the original Zorro in 1860s United States.

<i>Adventures of Frank and Jesse James</i> 1948 film by Fred C. Brannon, Yakima Canutt

Adventures of Frank and Jesse James is a 1948 Republic film serial directed by Fred C. Brannon and Yakima Canutt and starring Clayton Moore, Steve Darrell, Noel Neill, George J. Lewis, John Crawford, and Sam Flint.

<i>Ghost of Zorro</i> 1949 film by Fred C. Brannon

Ghost of Zorro is a 1949 Republic Movie serial. It uses substantial stock footage from earlier serials, including Son of Zorro and Daredevils of the West. This film was shot in Chatsworth, Los Angeles.

<i>Don Daredevil Rides Again</i> 1951 film by Fred C. Brannon

Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951) is a Republic Movie serial. It makes heavy use of stock footage from Republic's previous Zorro serials. The character of Don Daredevil was created for this serial as the rights to Zorro belonged to Disney by 1951.

<i>Battling with Buffalo Bill</i> 1931 film

Battling with Buffalo Bill is a 1931 American pre-Code Western serial film directed by Ray Taylor and starring Tom Tyler, Lucile Browne, William Desmond, Rex Bell, and Francis Ford.

<i>The Last Frontier</i> (serial) 1932 film

The Last Frontier is an American Pre-Code 12-chapter serial, distributed by RKO Radio Pictures in 1932. The story was based on the novel of the same name by Courtney Ryley Cooper.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 26–27. ISBN   0-9632878-1-8.
  2. Stedman, Raymond William (1971). "4. Perilous Saturdays" . Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. p.  110. ISBN   978-0-8061-0927-5.
  3. Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 299. ISBN   978-0-7864-7762-3.
  4. Cline, William C. (1984). "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time . McFarland & Company, Inc. p.  41. ISBN   0-7864-0471-X.
  5. Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time . McFarland & Company, Inc. pp.  219–220. ISBN   0-7864-0471-X.